MEADOWBROOK CINEMAS, Warwick, RI: Oct 1987 – Feb 1993 (Cast departure)
JANE PICKENS THEATER, Newport, RI: Jun 1991 – Sep 1991 (“B” cast); Jun 1992 – Sep 1992 (“B” cast); Jun 1993 – Mar 1994
ATTLEBORO MOVIE HOUSE, Attleboro, MA: Aug 1994 – Apr 1995
Given the trend of cast names, we decided on the “Absolute Pleasure Players” (“Creatures of the Night” was used but never stuck). The A.P.P. Era marked a first great age for the cast. All of the experience came together as we started at the Meadowbrook Cinemas (MBC). We built better props and had better lighting. We developed a tech crew. Before that, Riff Raff moved all the props. If you had no one on Lights, Eddie and Dr. Scott handled it. We had the Show running like a business. We were attracting talented and wide-ranging people. We began doing live preshows. We started doing 4th of July parades. Some cast members were going to cons and seeing a bigger picture. The MBC run broke the seemingly unbeatable Cinerama 4-year record. We also starting sending a 2nd “B” cast down to the again-running Jane Pickens Theater in the summers. We were bigger and better than ever.
Unfortunately, we were not wise enough to manage some of the internal issues that success and popularity can bring. Part of the reason the cast was getting better was because it was larger and bigger. It was no longer a close-knit group. Our managerial experience of today was not present then. Conflicts exceeded solutions. We had great internal upheaval, but we did learn and eventually handle it. We replaced rules that could be twisted with reason that we could openly communicate about.
Having gotten past internal issues, soon external issues with ownership were reaching intolerable levels. A more experienced and wise cast is going to see and be less tolerant of bad practices. Self-destructive tendencies and policies by the owner were limiting our ability to get better. At best, we were stagnant. We decided almost unanimously to leave in 1993 after 5 1/2 years with no sure prospect that we had anywhere to go. However you look at it, it said something unique that this large cast decided almost unanimously that cast death was preferable to stagnation.
Make no doubt about it – We did pay a price by not having a regular venue. There was no immediate reward for doing the better thing. We did eventually get into the JPT with our old friend Mr. Jarvis, but it took 5 months. It was a nice run, but it only lasted 9 months. Like 12 years earlier, year-round attendance simply couldn’t support it. And then there was nothing.
During this open period of time, there was no home theater on the horizon. We did many road shows in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire at theaters, colleges, and clubs. We truly learned the ways of heavy duty travel during this time. It was a practice that would serve us in later years. The one we visited most was the Attleboro Movie House, where we showed it in 16mm, until we found out the manager was bilking the revenues and it ended. The one good thing that did come from that manager was a tip on another theater in Framingham that led to the creation of the Teseracte Players.